Signs of Heat Stroke: 7 Ways Your Body Tells You It's Overheating & What to Do by Cindy Cooke, DNP, FNP-C, FAANP
Have you ever seen a car overheat? Your body does the same thing. Heat stroke is the equivalent of a steaming hood. Left untreated, it can damage your brain, heart, kidneys and muscles. Heat stroke can be caused by excessive heat or overexertion.
Regardless of the cause, it’s an emergency, and the longer you wait to get help, the more damage it causes. Know these signs of heat stroke before it’s too late:
- High body temperature – a temperature of 104 degrees or higher
- Change in behavior – confusion, agitation, slurred speech and irritability
- Difficulty breathing – shallow, rapid breaths
- No sweat – hot, dry, red skin
- Nausea – feeling like you want to vomit
- Racing heart – a symptom of working overtime to cool the body
- Headache – a sign of dehydration
Young kids, older adults and people who are overweight are more prone to heat stroke, but anyone can suffer if they don’t prepare for the heat. If you suspect someone is experiencing heat stroke do the following:
- Call 911 immediately.
- Move them to a cooler place.
- Remove excess clothing.
- Give them water to drink.
- Apply cold cloths or ice.
Remember, heat stroke is dangerous, so act fast!
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